Rabid Reader’s Reviews Holiday Musings 2016

We took the opportunity to review books and movies for the 2016 Christmas season. Be sure to check out our reviews:

 

Books

If you are you enjoy mysteries by the author Mary Higgins Clark, we recommend her holiday detective stories. In The Christmas Thief, the amateur sleuth, Alvirah Meehan, once again teams up with the private investigator Regan Reilly.

 

 

 

 

David Baldacci, known for his Will Robie and Amos Decker series, departs from his typical thriller books and takes a dive into the contemporary in The Christmas Train.

 

 

 

 

Mythology 101 by Jody Lynn Nye, book reviewIf you are looking for is a cute story that is a little cheeky with an off-the-wall humor, try Mythology 101 by Jody Lynn Nye.

 

 

 

 

Movies

Movie Review: A Nightmare before ChristmasTim Burton’s dark Christmas movie brings in Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, who is totally fed up with screaming and scaring. Instead, accompany Jack Skellington as he spreads Christmas joy. The Nightmare before Christmas has been digitally remastered and is Amazon choice.

 

 

 

 

This movie is based on John Grisham’s book, “Skipping Christmas” and it became on instant family classic. If you looking for a humorous movie, enjoy Christmas with the Kranks.

 

 

 

 

 

If you are looking for more holiday reviews, check out Rabid Reader’s Reviews Holiday Musings 2014 for more.

We wish all of our readers and subscribers a great 2017 and want to thank you for regularly visiting our Rabid Reader’s Reviews site.

The Christmas Thief by Mary Higgins Clark

Publication Date: October 27, 2009

 

What happens when the tree intended for Rockefeller Center is highjacked? For Alvirah Meehan and her P.I. co-conspirator, Regan Reilly, it means time to get back on the case and find the tree. Could there be more to this particular tree than they know?

The Christmas Thief is the third novel co-authored by Mary Higgins Clark and her daughter, Carol Higgins Clark.

 

Continue reading The Christmas Thief by Mary Higgins Clark

Sweet Revenge by Diane Mott Davidson

Publication Date: August 26, 2008

 

Caterer Goldy Schultz is setting up for a library holiday brunch when she thinks she sees Sandee Brisbane, the woman that killed her husband, in the stacks. The catch is that up until that moment, Goldy and everyone else thought that Sandee was dead. When a former D.A. is found dead, Goldy is pulled into a murder mystery that seems focused on sweet revenge.

Sweet Revenge is a mystery novel that includes 10 recipes.

 

 

Continue reading Sweet Revenge by Diane Mott Davidson

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Movie Released: October 1993 | DVD Release Date: November 2, 2010

 

Jack Skellington lives in Halloween Town. He stumbles on a glade with seven trees representing portals to the varied holiday towns and finds himself in Christmas Town. He loves the spirit of the holiday and sets out on a plan to become “Sandy Claus” by kidnapping Santa. Will rag dog Sally convince him that his plan is a bad one before he ruins Christmas?

 

 

Continue reading The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Christmas with the Kranks (2004)

Movie Released: Nov. 24, 2004 | DVD Release Date: Nov. 8, 2005

 

When Luther (Tim Allen) and Nora (Jamie Lee Curtis) Krank’s daughter decides not to come home for Christmas, the couple decides to “skip Christmas” and go away on a luxury cruise. Objecting to the plan is nearly everyone they know including the vendors that look forward to their holiday orders. Will skipping Christmas be the best decision they’ve ever made or will a sudden change in plans send them into a panic spiral and will the very people they’ve spurned be willing to help them make their dreams come true? Based on the novel “Skipping Christmas” by John Grisham.

 

 

 

Continue reading Christmas with the Kranks (2004)

A Cowboy for Christmas by Kristen James

Release Date: November 10, 2009

 

KJ_A_Cowboy_For_Christmas

Annie Prudhomme left her home of Marietta, Montana with big dreams but finds herself returning to town after a divorce. Her family turns their backs on her and she settles in to remodel a home she’s inherited. Carson Scott still carries a torch for Annie but he has responsibilities he didn’t before she left town to think of and isn’t so eager to put his heart on the line. Is Annie ready for something serious or is she just looking for Christmas company?

 

Annie’s story is pretty typical. As a teenager she hated her hometown and counted the days until she left it behind and part of leaving it behind meant leaving her teenaged boyfriend, Carson. She moved, she got married, she got divorced and now she sees where she grew up with new eyes but returning and admitting that it was never as bad as she always claimed is not something she’s sure that she’s ready to do. Without that correction to the outlook of the past, Carson isn’t sure he’s going to put himself on the line again.

The hallmark of a great romance is likability and both characters lack in that department. Carson is a good guy who moved on with his life after Annie left and got married and had kids but he’s grating and passive aggressive to a point that, at times, makes him somewhat uncomfortable to read. Annie is extremely locked up in her own pride so that she’s stymied to an extent in the story. The reader knows what is going to happen in  A Cowboy for Christmas, it’s a romance after all, but I can’t say that I didn’t think these two people wouldn’t be better off just going their own ways. Carson has a child, which complicates matters and puts a greater emphasis on him on the surety of the outcome, but as much as we hear about it, does he really consider his ultimate responsibility in the final balance? They’re dancing around the obvious with one nagging and reminding the other of the problems they had and the lack of consideration which does not bode well for a lasting connection. That time she left will always be at the forefront in arguments.

Let’s be real, though. This does not have to be a realistic read. It’s a romance novel and an escape so how does it measure on the enjoyment scale? The answer would be middling. A Cowboy for Christmas is mostly well written and could experience a better flow with some paring down of fillers. At 104 pages, it should be a light and fast read but doesn’t feel quick. If you like the end of a romance novel, pick  A Cowboy for Christmas  up. If you’re looking for story, you’ll find better but also worse.

 

 

Read an excerpt and pick up A Cowboy for Christmas by Kristen James today on:

Amazon U.S.Amazon U.K.Amazon Canada

For more information about Kirsten James, visit her website. You can connect with her on Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter @writerkristenj.